The Business of Is-ness

I read a quote by a Hua Hu Ching (from the teachings of Lao Tzu) that concluded “therefore, agitated effort is not necessary.” It brought to mind the dance between self-effort, striving, our Western venerated industriousness, and graceful allowing, that “spiritual state” that many of us find a challenge to sustain. When do you sit back and entrust yourself to God or the Flow or however you name a Higher, Divine Power, and when do you get off your butt and “network,” “query,” or rev up your social media contacts? There must be a balance, however elusive and changing; tending to it seems the wise choice. My experience is that when I meditate “on” something, even something noble, like  balance or equanimity, I don’t notice any specific attainment of it right away.

What I do find, is that when I finally “let go” or stop efforting to “get it,” something peaceful comes in; it can be a graceful, floating feeling. The agenda and effort disappears and I am experiencing “Is-ness,” just being with the true object of meditation, the Self or God. As a wise Israeli rabbi said (loosely transcribed), “You pray to pray. It’s not about getting something. It’s about talking to God.” You meditate to meditate. You talk to your Self. Is-ness is a goal of meditation. Come to it your own way. Here’s one way to jump start your own process:    

Meditating on No-thing-ness, or Is-ness: Relax your body in a comfortable posture. Close your eyes. Enter meditation as you usually do, through the breath, a mantra, or some other simple technique. Observe the agendas of the mind and its spiraling thoughts. Gently allow them to come and go. If need be, find the positive kernel or flip side of negative thoughts. Bring your awareness deeper, focusing beyond thoughts to the heart or even the feet. You can do this through the breath or an awareness of sensation, such as feeling the purr of your heartbeat, or the solidity of your feet. Sit until a feeling of “is-ness,” just being without “business” prevails.

Rest assured that something good will come from your moments of idle “is-ness.”    




About sheilaklewis

As a writing coach, meditation teacher, writer, and academic tutor, I'm passionate about words and the silent spaces between words. In this context, I run book clubs and writers' groups where the resonance of carefully crafted words can spark readers and writers to share their own stories. Connecting through conversation; making memories matter; embracing editing and revision, and imaginative wordplay are some solo and collective outcomes. I came to what I call my "Meditate Write Now" practice after years of art-making, writing grants, curriculum, children's stories, and more. Meditation kept my mind from meandering too far off point and also led me to write from the still point within. May our paths cross in creative journeys across time and internet connections! Other details: My husband and I are the parents of two amazing sons and one daughter-in-law, and smitten grandparents of Micah (born December, 2013). I don't drive, and have lived in the same apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, for too long.
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3 Responses to The Business of Is-ness

  1. sheilaklewis says:

    Take Five Tuesday: Meditate on “Is-ness”

  2. AJ says:

    Thank you, Sheila….for bringing to the fore is-ness as a way to calm busy-ness. Is-ness seems a great way to live in the present and in the immediate. What is, is. AJ

  3. sheilaklewis says:

    glad your is-ness is thriving! Thanks for sharing.

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